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Getting started with Medicare

Information for people who are just getting started with Medicare. Includes information about whether you're eligible for Medicare, whether you get Medicare automatically, your Medicare coverage choices, and how Medicare works with other insurance.

Your Medicare coverage choices

There are 2 main ways to get your Medicare coverage — Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). Use these steps to help you decide which way you want to get your coverage. Before you make a decision, you can get local, personalized Medicare counseling from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

When & how to sign up for Part A & Part B

Find out how to get Part A and Part B: some people get Medicare automatically, but some don't and may need to sign up.

Apply for Medicare online

Apply online for Medicare on Social Security's website.

How to get drug coverage

Read about the 2 ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage–either through adding a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), or getting a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) such as an HMO or PPO that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage.

When can I join a health or drug plan?

Find out when you can sign up for or change your Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D).

About Medicare health plans

Learn more about Medicare health plans, including Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Savings Account (MSA) Plans, Medicare Cost Plans, demonstration/pilot programs, Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and Medication Therapy Management (MTM).

Find health & drug plans

Find and compare drug plans, health plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies.

Check your enrollment

Check your current or future Medicare enrollment.

Find & compare doctors, hospitals, & other providers

Find and compare hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, medical item suppliers, health care providers, health and drug plans, and dialysis facilities. Learn about how to choose providers and plans.